Exercise has been shown to have a multitude of positive effects on both physical and mental health. Some of the benefits of exercise include boosting the body’s overall immunity, lowering risk factors for diabetes mellitus, certain cancers, depression, cardiovascular disease, and obesity (Shaikh & Dandekar, 2019). Ways that nurse practitioners can promote healthy lifestyles and improve exercise compliance for their patients include firstly assessing the patient’s current fitness level to discern the appropriate level of physical activity for the patient. Once the patient’s fitness level has been identified activity and fitness goals may them be determined with the assistance of the patient.
To help motivate the patient, information regarding the benefits of exercise will be provided along with information regarding the types of exercises that would be most beneficial for the individual patient. Patient education regarding the benefits of exercise may take on a dynamic approach. In addition to in person screenings, patient education regarding healthy lifestyles and improving exercise compliance may be facilitated through venues such as the media, community health centers and self-help groups.
Technologies that are available that can s assist patients and providers include smart phone apps that can track a multitude of health-related data such as, number of steps taken, distance walked, heart rate and blood glucose levels. Pedometers monitor the number of steps taken and distance walked during exercise and everyday activities. Heart rate monitors can assess exercise expenditure and intensity as it related to the heart (Wilson, 2020). Heart rate monitors may be helpful to individuals with cardiovascular conditions that may be exacerbated with exercise. Also, smart watches can provide some of the same exercise related applications as smart phone apps, heart rate monitors and pedometers.
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Healthy People 2020 was created by the federal government with the goal of increasing public awareness regarding health and disease prevention. One of its many goals is to promote better health and decrease the incidence of chronic diseases by advocating for healthy diets and maintaining a healthy body weight (Nutrition, n.d.). The nurse practitioner plays a crucial role in helping to promote healthy lifestyle and improve exercise compliance with their patients. One of the most obvious and effective ways of accomplishing this goal is to serve as a role model for family, community, and patients. Patients are much more likely to receive health education from those that are true to their word. The International Council of Nurses (INC) proposed that if only nurses focused more on their own health, they would have an easier time influencing their patients’ wellbeing, and in a study conducted in the United States, healthy weight nurses were found to be more influential than their counterpart unhealthy nurses (Preparing, 2019). Over the last decade there has been a radical advancement in mobile phone technology, and this has allowed healthcare providers to tap into this trend, harnessing it to advance healthcare services. Some of the many ways it has been used include: promoting healthy lifestyle, physical activity, and weight loss. The benefit of using a mobile phone application is that it allows for easy delivery to patients, regardless of location or time. It also helps break socioeconomic barriers, since most people own a smartphone. One notable application designed to help promote weight loss is the MINISTOP App (Mobile-based Intervention Intended to Stop Obesity in Preschoolers). While this application is still in trial stages, it holds promising potential to combat obesity (Henriksson et al., 2020).
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